Warning of 'alarming provocations,' United States announces review of Iran

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has termed the Iran nuclear deal a failure and said an "unchecked" Tehran could become another North Korea, but stopped short of threatening to derail the landmark agreement.

"Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon", Tillerson explained. "This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face from North Korea".

The next test of President Trump's attitude toward the nuclear deal will come next month when he must decide whether to extend sanctions waivers for Iran first signed by President Barack Obama. The United States can not unilaterally abolish the worldwide agreement that was signed by Iran and several other countries and which was approved by the UN Security Council.

Tillerson told reporters that the review, which he announced on Tuesday, would not only look at Tehran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behaviour in the region which he said undermined USA interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, Reuters reported. But neither Iran nor the other world powers that negotiated the agreement have any interest in reopening the deal, and USA companies stand to lose billions if it's scuttled.

The nuclear deal was reached in Vienna in July 2015 between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

As if that were not enough, Tillerson continues to insist that Iran is sponsoring terrorism. "The United States is keen to avoid a second piece of evidence that strategic patience is a failed approach", Tillerson said as quoted by CNBC.

"Part of the review.is to determine where Iran is in compliance with the deal and to make recommendations to the president on the path forward", Spicer said.

Administration officials said the United States is looking at ways to more strictly enforce the terms of the nuclear deal and impose tougher sanctions related to Iran's activities in the Middle East, which the U.S. and its allies see as destabilizing.

The response from Iran to Tillerson's harsh statements has been one of frustration.

And the JCPOA gives Iran a reason not to try to make a nuclear weapon.

"The JCPOA fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran, " Tillerson said, using an acronym for the 2015 nuclear deal.

In addition to the US, five other countries and the European Union agreed to lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for it's assurance it won't try to make or acquire a nuclear weapon.

Candidate Trump made criticism of the pact a centerpiece of his campaign, telling the American Israel Political Action Committee in March 2016 that "my number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran".



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